With winter coming to a close, it’s time to start thinking about warmer weather, the time change and the prospect of riding outside during the workweek. Perhaps you’ve already been riding and this means more opportunity to get in some saddle time or it’s a sign that you need to dust off your bike and get the legs moving again. No matter where you’re at with your riding, here are a few things to think about as you ramp up towards summer riding.
Set a goal and figure out how you’re going to work towards it! Maybe your goal is to ride X miles per week or complete a certain ride (cough…Triple Bypass). Setting goals will keep you motivated and having an outline or how you’re going to accomplish those goals will keep you focused and accountable. Write your goals down and then outline your training on a calendar or consider getting a pre-built training plan or talking with a coach. Whether you choose to do it on your own or work with an expert, make sure you take your goals, current fitness, and availability to ride into consideration when outlining your training. Consistent training is important to improving fitness but your plan should still be flexible. Don’t get discouraged or feel guilty if you miss a workout every now and then. But get back on track as soon as you can.
Don’t over-do it! It’s easy to go a little crazy at the start when you’re super motivated. Doing too much out of the gate can wear you out quickly causing fatigue, soreness and a loss of motivation making you more vulnerable to injury, sickness, or burnout. So take it slow when you start up your training. Think long term, not just about trying to get as fit as possible as fast as possible. Look at increasing your training load by about 10% each week. This will allow your body to slowly adapt to the new stresses (the good kind!) that exercising places upon it. As you progress, steadily add in more days and more time to your rides.
Make sure your bike is in proper working order! Nothing ruins a quiet ride more than a squeaky chain…or bad shifting…or a creaky bottom bracket…or brakes that don’t work…you get the idea. Keep in mind that even if all of your components are up to snuff, if your bike is dirty, chances are it won’t be running smoothly. Set aside some time to show your bike some love or schedule an appointment at your local bike shop for a tune. Shops are about to get really busy so get in soon, especially if your bike is having that last issue. (Hint: working brakes are a good thing 🙂 A clean, well-tuned bike can be very motivating in its own right!
Find a friend…maybe another Team Evergreen Member! Having someone to ride with makes the miles tick by faster, keep you motivated and hold you accountable. And remember, riding your bike should be fun!
Adam Fivehouse is a USA Cycling LII Certified Coach with Optimize Endurance Services. Contact him at 720-270-6876 or firstname.lastname@example.org with your training questions.